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Ask the Experts: What Type of Dress Should I Choose for a Destination Wedding?

If you’re jetting off somewhere sunny for your Big Day, you might be wondering what kind of wedding dress to shop for. So we put it to the experts, the bridal boutiques – what weddings dresses work best for a gorgeous sun-filled destination wedding? Here’s what they had to say…

20 Dreamy Destination Wedding Dresses

Alice May Bridal, Dublin | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Willowby by Watters

Stick to your own style and don’t compromise purely based on the weather. It’s always great to have a lightweight dress but that doesn’t mean if you always wanted a full gown you can’t achieve this. Try on everything you had your heart set on and we can help with making it light and wearable for the day. When it comes to transporting your dress, book a seat for your dress so it reduces creasing on the fabric.

Bridal by Nikki Kavanagh, Meath | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Nicole Spose

Honestly these days anything goes! Brides wear whatever they want for weddings abroad, the ‘destination dress’ is a thing of the past. We can take away under layers or replace with breathable fabrics to help with the heat.

In terms of transporting your dress,​ I would recommend flying with Aer Lingus as they tend to take your gown and hang it for you, they did for me! If not, take it with you on board and arrange for it to be steamed by your planner or the hotel.​

Memories – The Bridal Boutique (Dublin & Cork) | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Chic Nostalgia

Keep it light and avoid anything too tight. Think about the weather and think about the fabric you choose. You don’t want wrinkles or sweat marks!

When it comes to transporting it, just fold it into your carry on suitcase. You can always get it pressed on the other side and you don’t want it to go missing in the hold!

Myrtle Ivory – Bridal Couture, Dublin | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Stephanie Allin

If it’s a church wedding, check with your priest about shoulders being covered – as a lot of churches in Italy and France can be quite strict about skin on show inside the church. Remember that your gown has to be weather appropriate. The likes of Stephanie Allin will add cotton linings to the inside of her large skirts to make them more breathable to wear on the day.

Sharon Gregory Design Studio, Cork | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Ronald Joyce

Think of your venue, is it on the beach? You will want a dress that’s light and flowing. Is it in a church? You can wear any style but you will need a dress that will travel well (won’t be a ball of wrinkles when you get there) and also is the dress easy to travel with as some airlines will store the dress in the back of the aircraft, while some will insist on you buying a seat for it.

We supply long dress bags and these are perfect for travelling but your airline will determine how you transport it. If they will not hang it for you and if you are not prepared to buy a seat for it, you will have to carry it in a carry on bag.

Chase Brides, Algarve | View Profile

Wedding Dress by MoriLee

When it comes to getting married abroad we know exactly what you need, as we are based in the sunny Algarve. We recommend you choose a dress that you are going to be comfortable in and one that does not have too many layers as you don’t want to overheat on your special day.

In terms of transportation, don’t worry, whether you are staying in a hotel or private villa, ALL local launderettes can dry clean or press your dress before the big day, so if you bring your dress over in a suitcase or ship it in a box, there’s no need to panic as you can get it pressed once you arrive. Of course, if you don’t want to do this, we recommend you ship it over in a large box that has space for the dress to breathe and not be squished up.

Diamond Bridal, Cork | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Nicole Spose

If you are going to a warm climate, we advise lighter fabrics and a dress that can travel well and doesn’t tend to wrinkle.

When it comes to transporting your dress, we would advise carrying the dress as hand luggage and ensure that it is covered in plastic (in case of any spillages!) and in a breathable dress bag. Most airlines are great and may even give your dress its own hanging space, it’s no harm ringing or emailing ahead.

MK Bridal Boutique, Meath | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Enzoani

When getting married abroad it’s important to pick a comfortable lightweight wedding dress that travels well. Lace is ideal as it doesn’t crease.

Travelling with your beloved wedding dress can be quite stressful, I would ask your airline if they wouldn’t mind hanging it up with the crew’s jackets for the duration of the flight. Most airlines are very obliging.

DePaor Designs, Wicklow | View Profile

Wedding Dress by DePaor Designs

If you are getting married abroad in a very warm climate, you really need to make sure that the dress is light and travels well. The tea length style is ideal, as it is so easy to pack and so comfortable to wear. For full length wedding dresses, choose a silk crepe or silk chiffon style, which will be light and airy to wear.

Aideen Cross – Award Winning Bridal Designer, Kildare | View Profile

Wedding Dress by Aideen Cross

If you’re lucky enough to be going away somewhere special for your big day, keep in mind the weather in that part of the world. Try to do dress shopping in the same climate as your wedding. Do consider a shorter length dress if it’s a beach wedding or even a high low dress. Another thing to think about is that silk or cotton will keep you cooler in a warmer climate but might not travel as well as polyester fabrics.

When it comes to transporting your gown, you should contact your airline before you fly to see what they recommend for you and your dress. I think if I was traveling with my wedding dress, I’d like it close to me and not put in the luggage department. Pack it in a weather proof zip bag and make sure the dress is secured on a hanger. You can stuff the bodice part with paper tissue so it will hold its shape.

Photo from Melissa & Ralph’s real wedding by Algarve Weddings by Rebecca

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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